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Hepatitis B and adult vaccination

Hepatitis B and adult vaccination

Home All about hepatitis B Hepatitis B and adult vaccination
Hepatitis B and adult vaccination

Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B lives in blood and sexual fluids. It’s the most common liver infection in the world, usually passed on from mother to baby, or through exposure to the blood of someone with hepatitis B (usually through unsterile medical procedures). 

Should I get vaccinated?

Hepatitis B can be a risk if there is blood-to-blood contact with someone with hepatitis B. Unprotected sex can also be a transmission risk for hepatitis B. If you have been at risk for hepatitis B, or are one of the high-risk groups below, you should get tested and vaccinated for hepatitis B.

In Australia, many people get vaccinated for hepatitis B as babies or young children, as part of the National Immunisation Program Schedule. You can get a blood test to find out if you are vaccinated against hepatitis B if you’re not sure, or to check that your vaccination worked.

Groups at high risk for hepatitis B

Hepatitis B can only be passed on through blood-to-blood contact, unprotected sex or during birth – so you might be at risk of having hepatitis B if you:

Who can get free hepatitis B vaccinations?

People under 20 years old can get hepatitis B vaccines for free under the National Immunisation Program. This covers them if they did not receive the vaccines in childhood (called catch-up vaccination). The National Immunisation Program also covers refugees and similar migrant people (of any age) arriving in Australia.

The following people (in NSW) can also get the free hepatitis B vaccines:

Eligible people get the vaccine for free, but you may be charged a consultation fee for the visit. You can check this when you make your appointment. Note: free vaccines are not provided for overseas travel.

You can get vaccinated for hep B at your doctor’s clinic or a sexual health centre.

How does the hepatitis B vaccination work?

The hepatitis B vaccination is safe and effective. You need:

Getting all 3 injections gives you the best chance of developing hepatitis B immunity (protection).

If the vaccine has worked, you are protected from hepatitis B for life. You do not have to worry about getting hepatitis B.

Contact the Hepatitis Infoline or talk to your doctor for more information 

Have more questions about hepatitis B and adult vaccination? Contact the free Hepatitis Infoline or download one of our free online resources now. 

How do you know if you have been vaccinated or have hepatitis B immunity? See our Hepatitis B Testing Chart >>

For further information please visit NSW Health vaccination webpage >>

Want to know more about travel vaccinations for hep B prevention? Call the Hepatitis Infoline.

This Department of Health website has more information on STI’s >>

Click here to see our Detailed hep B information page >> 

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